Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

UQ Senate elections recommencing this Monday

UQ Senate elections recommencing this Monday

(Please pass on to UQ graduates you may know.)

As you may have heard the elections to the UQ Senate, suspended earlier this month, start again on Monday 1 November 2021 and close at 9am on Monday 15 November 2021.

Electors will receive notices by email as before, to place a fresh vote – ballots cast before the suspension of the poll on 15 October have been cancelled.

As a candidate for one of three positions elected by graduates of UQ, I ask you to vote; please keep in mind Lee Duffield, also Hamish Greenop-Roberts.

I have received replies from the Vice Chancellor and the Returning Officer to messages I sent, which provide some helpful information and indicate a sincere approach. Assuming the poll runs smoothly this time the main effect of the suspension might be the extra time created for canvassing – impacts of that are imponderables.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Deborah Terry, on 21 October conveyed apologies for the “regrettable matter”, continuing:

“The role of our Senate is integral to the future of our University. I greatly value the diversity of perspectives represented and the opportunity to work with the Senate to shape our future.

“Our priority is to ensure that staff, students and graduates eligible to vote in the 35th Senate election have full trust and confidence in the integrity of the election process.

“I am receiving daily briefings from the Returning Officer on this matter and, as part of these briefings, have discussed the specific queries you raised. I hope the information below provides you with some additional clarity and assurances:

  1. The Returning Officer was acting under section 2.15.1 of the Senate and Academic Board Elections Policy in deciding to conduct a re-election.
  2. In line with this policy, any votes already cast will be invalid. Anyone who has already voted will need to vote again in the re-election and we will notify eligible voters via email when voting opens.

“We are continuing to work with the election platform provider to fully understand the system’s anomalies and how we can ensure they do not happen again. Once we have this information confirmed, we will share it with both the candidates and the electorate.

“Thank you also for your suggestion to reach out to the Australian Electoral Commission. Our Returning Officer has asked the Commission about the services they provide and if they could be used by the University for future elections.

“We will undertake a thorough review of the 2021 election process to understand what we can learn and apply this to how we approach future elections.

“I will continue to receive updates on the work being done by the University to ensure the integrity of the rescheduled election and we will continue to keep our community updated …”

The Returning Officer, Anthony Zgrajewski, on 25 October said thanks for “continued patience” since suspension of the poll, which was “due to a small number of anomalies identified with the voting platform”, continuing:

“Following an extensive investigation, I can now confirm:

  • Select staff and students eligible to vote in more than one category experienced issues voting in multiple categories when their UQ single sign-on session timed out.
  • In the graduate category, a small number of unique single voting links were shared with others, resulting in the original recipient being unable to place their vote. I can assure you that there is no suggestion of any impropriety.

“The following measures have been introduced to rectify the situation:

  • The platform has been reconfigured to ensure ease of access for those eligible to vote in multiple categories.
  • A simple authentication process has been introduced for graduates to ensure that only the email recipient is able to vote using their unique link …”

Regards – LD

Election statements are on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HigherEd/